There are a lot of ways to make your business more sustainable. Some have immediate results while others take time to implement and bear fruit. One change might not accomplish much but if every business did the same, the collective impact would be significant.
There’s no need to do everything straight away, either. Making a plan for your business to follow means you’re more likely to follow through by addressing each challenge or obstacle one step at a time and deliver results over time.
It’s not a case of deciding to make your business more sustainable, either. There are other reasons to take these steps, including influences outside the organisation.
Meeting Sustainability Targets
Setting targets is a great way to hold yourself accountable - and for outsiders to see that you are making an impact. With a growing focus on sustainability, reducing waste and using cleaner energy, this is an effective way to align your business with the issues about which people are concerned with. For local businesses, it is also a great opportunity to become part of the community around you, which is important to get the support of a core group of people.
Once these targets are set, it could hurt the business’ image if they aren’t met - even if there’s a good reason for it. Nonetheless, individual targets set by the company owners are just one part.
While it’s important to set targets for your business, there are also targets set by local authorities and the government as part of larger schemes to reduce the whole country’s carbon footprint.
One example of this is the national goal of removing new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030. This will encourage drivers to move to electric vehicles, which will save people on fuel costs while also reducing particulate pollution.
This is just one of the policies introduced by the government to help the UK move to a greener economy, and it - as well as others like it - will have an impact on business operations and its people, too.
Local communities are becoming more focused on going green. This can be through initiatives that reduce waste and increase the number of green and natural spaces. When a business actively supports these plans, whether it's through cleaner energy solutions such as electric vehicle charging stations, reducing traffic in the area or donating to local causes, they develop goodwill that helps people feel better about the organisation.
In turn, this is going to improve brand reputation and authority, and these people are more likely to talk about the business. Word of mouth can be a powerful advertising tool, and by championing green or sustainable initiatives, your business can benefit.
It’s not just outside your organisation where people are becoming more interested in sustainability, but your employees may be supporters of it, too. Keeping your workforce happy and motivated by showing an awareness of issues close to their heart is important for any organisation to succeed. This gives you a more engaged team who are willing to go the extra mile
There will be challenges for everyone to overcome, but by working together, you can promote the benefits to the business, the community and the country at large.
Moving To A More Sustainable Business Model
There are plenty of ways to help your business become more sustainable. While not every suggestion might be applicable to your industry, there could be a way to adapt the concept.
A lot will depend on where you are located, the space you have to work with, how your business operates, who your target market is and what your current levels of waste or output are. Once you have this information, you can identify the areas needing the most improvement first and work your way down to other areas that take longer or are harder to manage.
1. Cutting Energy Usage
One of the most practical ways of becoming more sustainable is by looking at your workplace and the energy used every day. Lighting, heating and equipment all use power, and by cutting this down, there’s less required. Not only that, you’ll save money in the long run, too.
Look at how much natural light you have each day and whether you need the lights on as often as you do. This becomes a habit that can be broken, especially during the lighter months. The same goes for your heating. While having your team shivering each day isn’t a good idea, automatic timers can still see you wasting energy, making manual decisions or thermostats a better option. Also check if your equipment needs to be on all the time if its not being used constantly.
2. Using Sustainable Packaging
Where possible, consider changing the packaging you use when shipping products and goods to more sustainable materials. These can be cheaper to produce in bulk and can be biodegradable unlike more common options such as plastic.
This kind of packaging can also be re-used by customers at home, which reduces how much is bought and produced over time as demand drops.
Alongside this, look at your suppliers for these goods - as well as any others - and check what they’re doing to offset their own carbon footprint. Sourcing from green suppliers can be a huge step towards making your own business more sustainable.
3. Go Paperless
To compliment your change in materials and packaging, look at ways you can cut down on how much paper you use. This starts at work by reducing paper files, notes and memos where possible - and making sure any pages used are recycled after use.
This ethos also applies to any customer or client communications, too. Instead of paper bills or invoices, use emails or other documents that can be stored electronically. They are faster to send and receive, too, which means no waiting for mail to arrive for answers or movement on an agreement.
4. Installing Electric Vehicle Chargers
EV chargers at work can be a superb way for businesses to drastically reduce their carbon footprint. Some organisations rely on vehicles to transport goods or people as part of their operation, while others will see workers drive to and from work every day.
Switching cars and vans owned by the business to electric vehicles will reduce fuel bills each week, month and year, and having charging stations on site will make sure you can easily keep them ready to run.
The same applies for employees. Allowing them to charge their vehicles at work means they’re more likely to move away from petrol and diesel vehicles, which cuts their emissions down.
5. Online Meetings and Remote Working
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought remote working to popularity, it has been around longer than you might think. As technology advances, it becomes easier for businesses to attract talent from anywhere.
You can use this to your advantage by allowing employees to work remotely, which then reduces time spent travelling (and the emissions this causes) as well as being able to operate out of a smaller workplace in some cases.
In the same vein, moving some or all of your meetings to online with video conferencing can cut this travel further, meaning more time to work and cutting back on emissions. It’s not always possible, but even a small step in this direction can help.
Take The First Step In Making Your Business More Sustainable With EV Charging Stations
Electric vehicle charging stations are just one of the ways a business can move to a more sustainable model. Whether you manage and operate a fleet of vehicles or want to encourage your staff to make the switch when they’re able to do so, the opportunity and ability to charge at work makes things a lot easier and reduces carbon emissions at the same time.
While we may not be able to help with everything on this list, we can help with EV charging stations. If you want to know more about them, how they work, where they can be installed and what kind of effect they can have on your business, get in touch with a member of our team and we’ll do what we can to help.